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Warframe Devstream Drops a Whole Lot of New Info About The Duviri Paradox

We've got a release date and progression details for the upcoming expansion: The Duviri Paradox

The Duviri Paradox is a bit of a white whale for Warframe fans. Or a black-and-white whale, rather, as the time-bending update takes place in a monochromatic world ruled by a petty tyrant named Dominus Thrax. Within this world, players take on the role of a newer character called the Drifter, rather than their usual Warframes, and battle through roguelike loops to escape and/or protect this strange domain.

The expansion was first teased back in mid-2019. Though it may feel longer to some, as players were left with precious little information and a whole lot of questions to ponder in the years since. We got answers (at least a few) at TennoCon 2022: a celebration of all things Warframe held annually by developer Digital Extremes. That’s about to be held as an in-person event again (it had been an online-only show for the last several years due to COVID-19 precautions), which the team revealed during a recent livestream .

That same stream was mostly focused on Duviri and its mysteries. DE is usually pretty open about upcoming content like this via its regularly scheduled “devstreams.” They can probably get away with it because there are enough surprises in each new, free expansion that the team can tease and tease and still have plenty of twists left in reserve. For the time being, however, I’ve gone and gathered some of the biggest information we know about The Duviri Paradox so far (minus anything involving big story spoilers from current endgame content).

Let’s take a look!

duviri paradox details

The Release Date

This is the big one (and probably what most people want to know), so let’s get it out of the way. The Duviri Paradox will finally arrive in April 2023. DE didn’t give a hard date; the team usually doesn’t do that until a particular piece of content is, like, just a few days away. But at least we know it will be here before TennoCon — which lands on Aug. 23, 2023 this time.

Presumably, this means there will be something else for the team to tease at this year’s show. Every TennoCon ends with some major announcement of upcoming content at “TennoLive,” a.k.a. the closing ceremony of the show. Last year gave us… quite a lot, too. We saw The Duviri Paradox, learned it’s basically an entirely new roguelike mode that will be accessible as an alternate way to start the game, heard about Soulframe (a new fantasy game from Digital Extremes) for the first time, and watched former community head Rebecca Ford publicly take over as Creative Director on the flagship title.

What could the new announcement be this time? Well, we really have no way of knowing. DE has a knack for delivering swerves so entirely out of left field that you’re sometimes left wondering if you’re even playing the same game you thought you were. That being said, I do suspect Soulframe will get more screentime, in addition to whatever wild Warframe news appears.

warframe duviri paradox duviri experience

Three Ways to Play

The Duviri Paradox will be accessible in a variety of ways: “The Duviri Experience,” “The Lone Story,” and “The Circuit.”

The first of these looks like the “complete” package players saw at TennoCon 2022. It’s another open-world zone (the fourth in Warframe so far) with side activities like fishing. Though there are some twists — such as the fact that you “fish” by controlling an underwater cyber-shark. Instead of a Warframe, you also start out in the squishy human body of the Drifter and get around by unlocking a horse-like mount called a Kaithe. The mount can be customized and named and eventually grow wings, allowing the Drifter to fly as if they had an Archwing (i.e. the game’s existing jetpack vehicle).

“The Lone Story” appears to be a more stripped-down experience. Basically, you get access to the central combat encounters without any of the side activities. Ford described this mode as “really for matchmaking,” as it will allow players laser-focused on earning daily rewards to match with likeminded folks, rather than those who might muck about with side activities.

In either case, Duviri is always split between two phases: “joy” or “anger,” according to Thrax’s mood. This is basically the same day/night cycle seen in the game’s other open-world zones, but it has no effect on gameplay. It’s simply changes the way the world looks.

Finally, “The Circuit” is an endless series of more traditional Warframe objectives set in maps based on Duviri — meaning they also bring in new enemies from the region. You play these sections as a chosen Warframe instead of the Drifter. Though you can also unlock the ability to bring Warframes into the open zone for short bursts of time.

The handoff goes both ways, too. The Circuit unlocks a new set of items called “Incarnon Adaptors” that evolve and adjust existing Warframe weapons (starting with 30 when The Duviri Paradox launches). These allow players to make custom mutations to their current arsenal and better adjust the way that they play outside of Duviri as a reward for engaging with the new content.

warframe duviri paradox melee

Drifter Melee

While this is a smaller change in the grand scheme of things, it’s also a pretty important one. The Drifter — who can currently only use certain special skills identical to the more “standard” Warframe protagonist, the Operator — will now be able to attack with melee weapons.

This seems to be the new, central way the Drifter will fight while completing objectives in the open world. It’s a slightly slower model of combat: at least compared to the supersonic slaughter of basic Warframe gunplay and space magic. Though you can also still fire the standard Void Beam (another Operator ability).

By checking out the Intrinsics skill tree (discussed in the next section) one can also see “Swifter Abilities” as a potential perk when leveling up. This presumably means the Drifter will either unlock some special powers we have yet to see, or at the very least that Operator abilities players can already access will still work inside Duviri.

warframe duviri paradox intrinsics

Decrees & Intrinsics

Progression in The Duviri Paradox is split down two major paths: Decrees and the aforementioned Intrinsics.

The former are daily buffs you earn by completing assigned objectives. They include things like bonus speed, damage, and the like, but appear to reset every 24 hours. Decrees are semi-random, as you can only select from a limited pool of randomized options each time you complete a given mission.

The latter, Intrinsics, should already be familiar to Warframe players that have unlocked their Railjack (the game’s spaceship combat vessel). Intrinsics are permanent upgrades that persist from run-to-run through the roguelike mode and can even affect the tools you can get with each new reset. They function very similar to a skill tree in other, more straightforward RPGs and are currently split into four categories: Combat, Riding, Opportunity, and Endurance.

From the footage that DE showed, it appears you earn new Intrinsic points at the same time as Decrees: by opening chests that appear after completing Duviri objectives.

warframe duviri paradox orowyrm

Orowyrm Boss Fight

We don’t know a ton about this one. At least not yet. But it seems like the Orowyrm — the giant, reticulated serpent flying through the sky in most footage of The Duviri Paradox — gets its own, special boss fight. This would track with how previous open-world zones in Warframe, Orb Vallis and The Plains of Eidolon, also have kaiju battles with unique mechanics.

What’s not clear so far is how the boss will work. It’s a flying foe and the Drifter is mostly focused on melee combat, after all. It seems likely that players will need to summon their Warframes in one way or another for this particular section, but maybe there will be more of a focus on mounted combat with one’s flying Kaithe instead. The flavor shot from the teaser trailer (shown above) certainly seems to imply something like that.

warframe duviri paradox new beginning

A New Beginning

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about this new expansion is that it’s the first thing some players will ever see in the game. Anyone booting up Warframe for the first time after the update launches will be presented with a choice. Do you want to start with “Vor’s Prize” (the game’s current intro quest) or “The Duviri Paradox”?

The story of the Drifter in The Duviri Paradox runs parallel to the adventures of the Operator in the “main” game. It’s a paradox, after all. Eventually, the two characters sync up and players can switch between them at will. This means that newcomers won’t have to play 100 hours of story content and grind to access the exciting new stuff. At least not if they don’t want to.

It’s an interesting way to handle a longtime issue with Warframe and any live service game that opts to have a deep narrative: it’s just so incredibly big. So much new stuff is being added all the time that the game has become infamously daunting to neophytes. Nearly every friend I ever convince to play with me is immediately overwhelmed by Warframe‘s many modes, weapons, bosses, locations, upgrade paths, crafting materials, side quests, factions, currencies, and so forth. Oftentimes, you just want to be able to jump in and play with your group.

Duviri might be able to split the difference by making endgame content and early game content one and the same. It also means that the Warframes themselves — which are so blisteringly fast and powerful — will be introduced to newcomers in slightly more bite-sized chunks. I’m curious if that helps people get a handle for the very smooth but often complex movement system the game provides.

Really, though, I’m just curious about The Duviri Paradox in general. I’ve been waiting nearly four years now to see more of it. And the words “Warframe roguelike” light my brain up in all the best ways. Here’s hoping the stunning new expansion lives up to the wait when it releases on all platforms this April.

About the Author


Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte.com and co-founder of the website. Everyone should listen to their opinions and recommendations sooner.